New threes at Cabo del Sol


New threes at Cabo del Sol
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

The revised sixth and seventh holes at the Ocean course at Cabo del Sol in Mexico are now in play. The holes have both been shortened and repositioned closer to the ocean, “heightening the drama, challenge and sensory experience for players”.

At the sixth hole, tees have been shifted to pinnacle-like granite outcrops and the green has been pushed further out onto a rock shelf perched above the ocean, with the previous green converted into an abbreviated fairway for shots that come up short. The resort describes the new hole as going from playing around the sea to playing into the sea. At 184 yards from the back tees, it is now six yards shorter than before.

The new seventh hole has been more dramatically shortened, by 68 yards, to 139 yards from the back tees. Players must now carry a stretch of beach to a partially obscured green carved into a dune 20 feet above sea level. “We now have a genuine short par three that adds balance to the routing and provides a nice change of pace during the round,” said Greg Tallman, Cabo del Sol’s director of golf.

According to Jim Lipe, a design consultant with Nicklaus Design who worked with Nicklaus to create the new fifth hole at Pebble Beach: “With water crashing all around you on the sixth green and seventh tee, the connection to the ocean is greatly enhanced at both holes.” Lipe added that given the stringent environmental regulations in place today throughout the world, the ability to build holes close to the sea won’t happen many more times.

The Nicklaus Design team is also planning to make changes to Cabo del Sol’s famous fifth hole in 2011. The tees will be moved and the green will be relocated ‘to the brink of the crashing surf’.